Sunday, July 20, 2014

Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest

Kathi and I visited Lone Pine in eastern California in November 2003. I probably wanted to go there because I remember Humphrey Bogart climb Mt.Whitney in the movie High Sierra.

One of the things that draws me into the area is the close proximity of the highest and lowest points in the continental U.S.,  Mt. Whitney and Death Valley, respectively.

A highlight I did not know about when I went into the area was the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest in the Inyo National Forest. The trees are only seen at high elevations. The ones we saw in the White Mountains were between 9,800 and 11,000 feet elevation. Some of these trees are 5, 000 years old.

Arlon in red shorts.

This picture does not do justice to the scenery.
 Bristlecone pine have extensive shallow root systems and coarse pulp, making them impervious to most insects.

The combination of cold temperatures, dry soil and high winds keep most any other vegetation from growing in the forest. The trees are badly gnarled from the abuse they have taken from nature over so many years.

We drove our Chevy Cavalier up the mountain and it took us about two and one half hours to get up the mountain because of the really bad roads. We were tired after a long day, so we came back down much quicker. We passed university agricultural study buildings and forest service building, but no people were on the mountain, except us.

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